Electrosynthesis of Ti5Si3, Ti5Si3/TiC, and Ti5Si3/Ti3SiC2 from Ti-Bearing Blast Furnace Slag in Molten CaCl2
Ti5Si3, Ti5Si3/TiC, and Ti5Si3/Ti3SiC2 have been electrochemically synthesized from the Ti-bearing blast furnace slag/TiO2 and/or C mixture precursors at a cell voltage of 3.8 V and 1223 K to 1273 K (950 °C to 1000 °C) in molten CaCl2. The pressed porous mixture pellets were used as the cathode, and a solid oxide oxygen-ion-conducting membrane (SOM)-based anode was used as the anode. The phase composition and morphologies of the cathodic products were systematically characterized. The final products possess a porous nodular microstructure due to the interconnection of particles. The variations of impurity elements, i.e., Ca, Mg, and Al, have been analyzed, and the result shows that Ca and Mg can be almost completely removed; however, Al cannot be easily removed from the pellet due to the formation of Ti-Al alloys during the electroreduction process. The electroreduction process has also been investigated by the layer-depended phase composition analysis of the dipped/partially reduced pellets to understand the detailed reaction process. The results indicate that the electroreduction process of the Ti-bearing blast furnace slag/TiO2 and/or C mixture precursors can be typically divided into four periods, i.e., (i) the decomposition of initial Ca(Mg,Al)(Si,Al)2O6, (ii) the reduction of Ti/Si-containing intermediate phases, (iii) the removal of impurity elements, and (iv) the formation of Ti5Si3, TiC, and Ti3SiC2. It is suggested that the SOM-based anode process has great potential to be used for the direct and facile preparation of Ti alloys and composites from cheap Ti-containing ores.
The authors thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51574164, 51664005, 51225401, and 51304132), the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2014CB643403), the Science and Technology Commissions of Shanghai Municipality (No. 14JC1491400), and the Young Teacher Training Program of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission for financial support.
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